AUSU Update!

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#StudentsLetsAct National Campaign for Student Mental Health Support

AUSU is proud to me a member of the Canadian Alliance of Students’ Associations (CASA) as they kick of a national #StudentsLetsAct advocacy campaign, underlining the urgent need for action on student mental health. At a time where attention to and discussion around mental health is high, students across the country are channelling this energy into tangible action to help support those struggling.

Want to get involved? Sign your name on a letter to Parliament petitioning for mental health support here.

CASA thinks the federal government can play an important role in helping students struggling with debilitating mental health issues. For instance, CASA wants to see the government expand the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities to also support those with temporary conditions, given the episodic nature of many mental health issues. Students also think this grant should be increased by 50%, as the other Canada Student Grants were in Budget 2016.

Providing more federal funding targeted at mental health initiatives and supports on Canadian campuses would also help immensely, seeing as most university services are severely overburdened and underfunded. The federal government is also well-placed to take the lead on collecting data on student mental health, which informs practices and policies all over the country.*

*Canadian Alliance of Students Associations. Students Launch Campaign Demanding Government Action on Mental Health. January 30, 2019.

AUSU joins 75+ Student Unions in challenge to OSAP and SU Funding

Student Unions from across Canada, representing over 1,300,000 students, have joined together address changes to students funding in Ontario. AUSU is proud to have joined in the advocacy efforts, as the changes effect thousands of Athabasca University students.

You can read the joint letter the student unions are sending to the Ontario Government online here. 

 For a bit of background, the Ontario Government recently announced changes that will have serious impact for Ontario students. Along with the announcement of a 10% tuition fee reduction, the province has also cut grants for low-income students and lowered the income threshold to qualify for loans, eliminated the 6-month grace period on loans, cut post-secondary institution funding, and made many fees optional.

By making what the government considers to be “non-essential” student service fees optional, the services available to post-secondary students will dramatically decrease.

AUSU stands with all affected students to oppose reductions to students funding and the potential cut to fees that threaten student advocacy and important student services.

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